Prolonging the Eco60

Meeting in La Rochelle to discuss the future of the pre-2003 Open 60s

Wednesday May 25th 2011, Author: Chris Stanmore-Major, Location: France

Following the introduction of the Eco60, for Open 60s built before 2003, for the current edition of the Velux 5 Oceans, so key stakeholders are to gather in La Rochelle on 3 June 2011, ahead of the prize giving celebrations, to discuss the future development of the Eco 60 Class.

The Eco 60 Class, was devised as an affordable, more  sustainable alternative to the high-end IMOCA 60 campaigns of late which have seen solo ocean racing  become accessible only to those with multi-million pound budgets. The four finishing skippers of the Velux 5 Oceans are so convinced of the Eco 60's potential they have since formed the Eco 60 Class Association and elected Brad Van Liew as Interim President of the Class. Van Liew will lead the meeting with secretary of communications Chris Stanmore-Major.

Stanmore-Major commented: “As the final leg of the Velux 5 Oceans comes to an end, the development of the Eco 60 Class into a separate standalone entity becomes the focus of those who have successfully proven that age does not dull the capability of these incredible boats to provide close, competitive racing with the added certainty of proven, robust design.

“The Velux 5 Oceans race has lost only one competitor in 30,000 miles crossing the wildest stretch of water on the planet the notorious Southern Ocean. This represents only a 20 percent dropout rate. For those lucky enough to compete in this inaugural Eco 60 event,  one of the most important aspects of their campaigns was the affordability of boats, creating a stepping stone into serious ocean racing that has never existed before.

“For the sponsors of these boats, the environmental awareness that is a founding part of the ethos of the Eco 60 Class has created positive feedback with both shareholders and customers. With its requirement for each competitor to utilise at least two different forms of sustainable energy, the Eco 60 Class has already contributed to the development of cutting edge technology such as the hydro generators installed on Operon and Le Penguin.”

The Class has invited interested parties and stakeholders to attend the forum from all over the world, including skippers, boat owners, event organisers, sponsors and designers. The objective of the forum is to formalise an independent Class and define the  future development of the Eco 60 racing circuit.

To attend the Forum, please contact: csmoffshore@gmail.com

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